We’ve all read the news stories and watched the evening news and thought about how awful it is when a drunk driving accident hurts an innocent person. While DUIs (driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol) are a crime in every state, is there anything that an innocent victim or their family can do when they’re impacted? They didn’t ask for extra medical expenses and property damage. They didn’t ask for a potential disability or even for their loved one to die.
Hastings & Hastings’ Mesa drunk driving accident attorneys understand that being the innocent victim or the family left behind because of a DUI is a time of uncertainty and struggle. We’re here to help you understand your legal options. We invite you to schedule a free case review so that you can know your legal rights and experience our compassionate care and zealous legal representation for yourself.
If you’ve been injured in a DUI accident in Mesa, securing the services of a competent drunk driving accident attorney can make a significant difference in your legal case if you decide to pursue one. Here are specific ways an attorney can provide vital assistance:
First, an attorney can help determine if you have a valid legal claim. They will review the facts of your case, like police reports, witness statements, surveillance footage if available, and any other relevant evidence, and determine if these details form the grounds for a valid legal claim.
If they determine that you do have a claim, they will help you accurately calculate your damages. These may include medical bills, both present and future, related to the injuries sustained in the accident. Lost income due to time off work during your recovery or any lasting disability that impacts your earning capacity are also considered. Additionally, non-economic damages like pain and suffering must be considered as well.
Your attorney can guide you through the often tricky negotiation process with opposing insurance companies or other defendants. Their expertise and knowledge in this area could significantly improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement, compensating you adequately for damages.
Should negotiations fail or if the other party refuses to acknowledge liability, your attorney can proceed with filing a lawsuit. They will prepare all the necessary legal documents, abiding by all court procedures and timelines, thus allowing you to focus on recovery while they push aggressively for justice on your behalf.
A Mesa drunk driving accident attorney can be an invaluable ally when dealing with the aftermath of a DUI accident. Don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a free consultation.
Each state, including Arizona, creates laws that criminalize certain acts. This includes DUI in the State of Arizona. A DUI may involve a vehicle accident of some kind. If it is the type that involves another vehicle (or if there’s a passenger who is injured), the driver who is charged with the DUI may also have civil liability.
With criminal liability, the state must prove that the person charged with a DUI was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may use some sort of evidence, such as breathalyzer results, blood work results, or experts in detecting if someone is under the influence of certain drugs to prove to the court that they were driving while under the influence. The charge they face under the law depends on several factors, including whether someone was injured in an accident. If found guilty, the defendant may serve jail or prison time, receive a fine, or even pay restitution.
With civil liability, the victim, or the family of the victim in certain instances, has the right to sue the defendant of the criminal DUI case for the injuries they caused to the victim. They may be able to sue regardless of whether the defendant is found guilty of DUI since the accident caused a loss. If the civil court rules in favor of the victim, they may receive compensation.
If you were hurt in a drunk driving accident in Mesa, it’s vital to keep in mind that in addition to getting immediate medical care, you should also speak with an attorney who is skilled in handling drunk driving accident cases in Mesa. One of the reasons to do so is because the alleged drunk driver may not be the only person who may be named as a defendant in your claim. Examples include but may not be limited to:
If you become a victim of a drunk driving accident, it’s important to understand the types of compensation that may be owed to you. These consist of economic and non-economic damages, as well as punitive damages in certain situations.
Economic damages represent the tangible, measurable costs that you have incurred due to the accident. They cover a wide range of out-of-pocket expenses such as:
Most out-of-pocket expenses that relate directly to the accident can be recovered in a claim or lawsuit.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are those that don’t have a defined monetary cost but still significantly impact your quality of life. This compensation is intended to account for these intangible losses, often including:
While these non-economic damages may not come with receipts or a direct monetary calculation, their impact on your life is often profound. A well-qualified attorney can help articulate and quantify these losses as part of your legal claim to ensure a comprehensive recovery that truly reflects the depth of the injuries you sustained.
Quite distinct from both economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are not designed to compensate for a loss. Rather, they serve as an additional penalty intended to punish the offender and dissuade them, along with others, from engaging in similar egregious behavior going forward. In Arizona, it must be shown through clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with an “evil hand” or “evil mind” for punitive damages to be awarded.
When you’re the victim of a drunk driving accident claim, having comprehensive and solid evidence is critical to substantiating your allegations and proving the extent of your damages. Here are common types of evidence used in these cases:
Your own view of what happened before, during, and after the accident is integral to your case. Your testimony can provide first-hand details about how the incident occurred, what actions you witnessed from the other driver indicating intoxication (such as erratic driving behavior or the smell of alcohol after the accident), and the physical pain experienced from the collision.
An official police report holds significant weight, serving as an objective account provided by law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. This recording usually includes essential information about people involved in the accident, observations regarding signs of intoxication, and details on other traffic violations or negligence that led to the accident.
Eyewitness accounts play a crucial role too; they can provide additional perspectives into how the events unfolded both during and in the aftermath of the incident.
Though it may be a stressful time, taking photos or video footage at the accident scene can be incredibly beneficial. Documentation like this becomes invaluable to establish factual details about property damage, weather conditions, or visible injuries. Included here might be security camera surveillance from nearby businesses.
Complete medical records provide authoritative documentation of the injuries you sustained from the accident. They can offer information on your diagnosis, treatment plans, and trajectory of recovery. These will help estimate both ongoing and future medical expenses related to your injuries.
In some instances, expert testimony may be required to support your claim. Expert witnesses are people who have specialized knowledge in a particular field related to the accident and can include medical practitioners, traffic reconstruction experts, and financial experts.
A BAC test result supporting that the driver was legally intoxicated at the time is almost irrefutable evidence in a drunk driving case. This, in combination with other forms of evidence highlighting negligent behavior, adds significant strength to your claim.
Recovering from a drunk driving accident can be not only physically difficult, but also emotionally challenging. Making use of all available evidence in asserting your claim significantly bolsters your chance for rightful compensation.
If you were hurt because of a drunk driving accident in Mesa, Hastings & Hastings is here to help. Schedule your free case review now to learn about your legal options.